Happy Turkey Day! North Newry has undergone many transformations. The road lies black and cold under a new layer of pavement, although thin in many places it is an improvement and we who travel its course daily all hope and pray that it will sustain the harsh abuse of snowplows with their scraping blades and January's mountainous frost heaves that rise and threaten to buckle and pitch. Nighttime visibility on the newly painted lines sure is a plus. Especially once hunting season hit. When Man goes into the woods, the deer come out. We have seen and enjoyed seeing, so very many deer and other wildlife as of late. The large flock of turkeys loiter in the local fields. They have been spotted in Uncle Bill's field, Grandpa Owen's fields and down the valley as far as what used to be Uncle Paul's house and lawn. They almost seem to flaunt their freedom. By flaunt, I meant, that they boldly encroach upon us humans, scratching and pecking, foraging themselves down our driveway and visiting with Vanity – so very close. Closer to humans than at any other time of the year and hello, this is when we all look at a turkey and our mouths water. Are they crazy? No, they flaunt because they can, because they know that they are safe from harm, from bullets and bows and dinner tables. Boy, the Pilgrims and “Indians” would scratch their heads at our hunting rules and regs, wouldn't they?
The flip side, however, is that we ARE thankful that we do get to observe nature in its wildest and truest forms, however, whenever and wherever they may be. I have also found myself and others enjoying the valley without its crown of fall splendor, leaves cast down, bare trees stark against their background. It is enjoyable to be able to observe the lay of the land, to actually SEE the woods through the trees – makes me want to walk all over this beautiful valley of ours. To discover the rocky, tumble downs and crags that were hidden all season long, to discover a wandering stream and dropping waterfall that you'd swear wasn't there before. The valley here has many secrets just waiting to be shared.
However, it is worth noting this:the sun sets much earlier and faster here. The kiddos and I were across the road visiting with Chris and Sarah and their son Nate. They were home for a few days to celebrate Thanksgiving with Aunt Susie. We chose to play over there, rather than at our house because the fields were still basked in the warmth of the sun. While we were standing there, at 2:30 in the afternoon, we watched the sun retreat behind the mountain line. The shadow that followed chased the sun across the field and rapidly caught up and engulfed its last moments of warmth and light. We were left standing there shivering in awe and disbelief. The kiddos still ran and laughed, chasing and tackled seemingly unaffected. The sun set on our little piece of the valley that afternoon at 2:31.
With winter fast approaching we can think of so very much to be thankful for, can't we? While the true meaning of Thanksgiving may be lost within the hustle and bustle of travel and cooking, cleaning and sleeping like a bear after the feast, let us not lose sight of the 10,000 reasons that we have to be thankful for. Have a blessed week!